In a recent podcast with “THE FIGHT,” legendary trainer and commentator Teddy Atlas shared a story of when “Iron” Mike Tyson knocked out a kid who was four years older than him in his first ever fight.
Atlas was Tyson’s trainer at the time and took him down to the local gym to find a suitable opponent. Despite only being 13 years old, Tyson was extremely big and muscular for his age, meaning finding an opponent his age was quite a tricky task.
“By this time he was probably up to 195lbs/200lbs, he was 13 years old I think. How am I gonna find a heavyweight [his age who will fight him]?”
So Atlas had no choice but to put him in with a 17-year-old in an exhibition bout.
“So I put him in this ‘exhibition’, it was called an exhibition, bigger gloves, bigger headgear.”
Even though Atlas agreed with the opponent's coach to take it easy, he knew the older kid would not hold back and try to knock Tyson out.
Tyson, being the freak of nature that he is, flipped the script and ended up knocking out his older opponent in devastating fashion and making him fall out of the ring.
“The other guy’s looking to knock him out. So, within a minute, Mike made him miss and it’s over. He knocks this 17-year-old kid out…
“Bang, bang, bang, hitting him with combinations, three-punch combinations.
“All of a sudden he pins him on the ropes. He hurts the guy, the guy goes against the ropes.
“Then he comes in, bang, he hits him with a left hook. The guy’s head goes like this [twists backwards], his body goes like this [limp] and he falls outside the ring.”
It was at this moment that Atlas knew he had a very special fighter on his hands. Tyson had just obliterated a kid who was older and more experienced than him.
“His mouthpiece goes flying, probably about 20 feet back and winds up in somebody’s lap.”
The other kid’s coach did not take kindly to watching his fighter get hurt and tried to come after Tyson.
“But there was a problem right away because now his trainer jumped in the ring to go after Mike. I went immediately after him.”
Atlas intervened and threatened to beat up the coach.
“He’s going right after Mike so I go right after him and I intercede, we got each other and I tell him, ‘I’ll freaking break your jaw.'"
Coming from such a rough background, Atlas was a bit of a father figure to Tyson and cared about him deeply.
Although he had a body more muscular than most men, Tyson was still a 13-year-old who needed to be protected.
The event did shake up Tyson, who seemed scared about what would happen next. “What’s gonna happen,” he queried.
But Atlas reassured the future Hall of Famer by telling him: “Nothing’s gonna happen to you.”
It’s stories like this that remind us of how much of a natural talent Tyson was.
He became the youngest heavyweight champion of the world for good reason and is considered by many as one of the best fighters of all time.News Now - Sport News